Editor’s note: This story was originally published by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service and is republished, with permission. 


MEBANE – Jerrod Ray, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington project management and engineering branch (PMEB) head, at Naval Support Activity Bethesda was selected as the 2023 Modern-Day Technology Leader by the Career Communications Group’s U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Modern-Day Technology Leaders are individuals who are demonstrating outstanding performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“I am delighted be elected as the Modern-Day Technology leader,” said Ray, one of the youngest supervisors in his recent environments. “I’m also grateful to have an amazing team and leadership.”

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Meet Jerrod

Ray began his engineering career as a PDC intern with NAVFAC upon graduating from North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering. He went on to earn his Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University and Professional Engineering License in Civil Engineering in the state of Oregon.

After graduation, he worked as a construction manager at JEB-LC Naval Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach, Va. Ray later became the project management and engineering branch head at Naval Support Activity Bahrain before joining the NAVFAC Washington team in October 2021 where he oversees $35 million in design development at Public Works Department Bethesda. He will manage $100 million in construction over the next three years.

Ray remains agile and flexible, always listening to the team.

“I like to take this approach because the landscape of the world and construction is forever changing,” said the North Carolina native.

Ray enjoys his work. He receives the most enjoyment when preparing the PMEB team to be successful in whatever the task. He encourages new ideas while still utilizing information from senior team members to try to find new ways to tackle challenges.

“NAVFAC is working hard to provide new tools and technologies to the field offices to better execute construction projects and match the construction pace of the private industry.”

He also encourages his team to utilize new and modern ways to manage and execute construction projects.

“I also enjoy construction because you are able to physically see your hard work and how the facility or infrastructure is able to benefit the Navy.”

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Future goals

Ray takes advantage of all opportunities for growth within the Department of Defense. He wants to continue to grow, learn and be beneficial to his teammates and the organization.

His career goal is to create paths and opportunities for future black engineers.

His advice to anyone interested in the engineering career field is to put in the work, effort, and training, and especially when no one is watching.

“They should stay prepared and ready for any opportunity. Also, do not be hesitant to accept new challenges to expand your abilities, knowledge, and growth.”

Ray is thankful for all relationships and friendships he has been able to form during his career.

“I am also thankful for all of my friends and family that have also supported me from the beginning.”

Ray will accept the 2023 Modern-Day Technology Leader award during the 37th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland, which will be held Feb. 9-11, 2023.

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